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Profile: Ralph Fiennes

Sunday, 13th Dec 2015

Ralph Fiennes

Lord Voldemort. Amon Goeth. M. These are some of the well known characters played by Ralph Fiennes during his impressive career in the spotlight. From January 2016 we can add Halvard Solness to the list as Fiennes steps up to play the lead in Henrik Ibsen’s The Master Builder at the Old Vic. As one of the nation’s most respected actors it is likely to attract a lot of theatregoers in the New Year, so as the start-date draws ever closer now seems like a great time to take a brief look at Fiennes’ career.

Born in Ipswich in 1962, Fiennes was educated Ireland, having moved there with his family a decade later, and it was there that he initially developed a passion for painting before acting took hole and he later trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

After that he quickly made a big impression on theatregoers with his work on the stage before finding an even larger audience on the big screen. During the 1990s he took on some impressive performances including the one for which he is still praised to this day – Amon Goeth in Steven Spielberg’s award-winning Schindler’s List. As the decade continued he also portrayed László Almásy in the equally-admired The English Patient.

But his high profile film work has not simply been restricted to the 1990s as the 2000s and 2010s have continued to see him shine. Who could forget his performance as Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire and the subsequent films in the boy-wizard series? Then there’s his more recent turn as M in the James Bond series, beginning with 2012’s Skyfall and continuing with this year’s Spectre. Since 2000 he has also appeared in the likes of Red Dragon, The Constant Gardner and The Grant Budapest Hotel, amongst others.

But it is the stage in which audiences headed to the Old Vic will be particular interested. Prior to The Master Builder audiences have picked up theatre tickets for the likes of Man And Superman at the National Theatre, The Tempest at the Haymarket Theatre and God Of Carnage at the Gielgud Theatre, as well as his early appearance in Twelfth Night at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre in 1985.

But now he returns to the stage as Halvard Solness in Ibsen’s The Master Builder as his strengths as a performer continue to shine. The production runs at the Old Vic Theatre from Saturday 23rd January 2016.

Article filed under: Theatre News | Star Profiles |